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Rain check

Your omniscient author in absentia:
Sorry, folks, I've had some last minute and long day work related stuff surface, so I'm going to have to rain-check you today (11/1) and possibly tomorrow (11/2), but things should be back to normal by Friday.


Your omniscient author in absentia:
On the bright-side, I'm hopeful these day job related tasks will provide more fodder for the strip. (Think "human resources," "leadership," and "seminar." See, you're already laughing, right?)



Funny stuff, H.B. A computer that can talk!

Seriously, today is the day bidding starts for Daisuke Matsuzaka. Papers all across the nation (read: US, not just Red Sox Nation) are all ablaze with people wondering whether or not their team is going to make a run at this kid. The Baltimore Sun has one of the funniest, with the Orioles wondering whether or not its worth it to go after him (their starting rotation being lights out and all).

Which brings me to the recent passing of Red Aurbach. He made some comments about how the game of basketball has changed, how individual players are looking to promote themselves over their team as statistics translate directly into monetary compensation. You think baseball is any different, with outstanding pitchers from Japan coming to America to play in a league where they can earn more? Let's say the Sox sign Daisuke, is he in it to be part of a winning team and enjoy the experience of playing in America, or is he looking for a fatter paycheck than he could get with the Nippon Thunder Ratchets (or whatever team he played for)?

Something about the Idiots people are never going to forget: they played to win, and they had faith in their teammates before they had faith in themselves. Maybe except Pedro, I think even Manny was all about the team that year.

/me hides.


Funny stuff, H.B. A computer that can talk!.

Ah, this is kind of beside the point, since the strip isn't meant to suggest that the computer is "talking." It's just a way to get my message across and provide some visual decoration.

But, if in fact I did want to imply the computer is "talking" it's not like it's an incredible leap of imagination. Macs have haf decent text-to-speech since the 90s.

Indeed, it's rare that you call a customer service number these days and do not encounter a so-called "talking computer."

I'm just sayin'...

fyi. Soxaholix shows well in Firefox 2.0


Found this on the internets today. Thought it might start the Lostaholix discussion a bit early:


Speaking of "talking" computers, I freelanced at an agency down in Florida for a while named Faller Klenck & Quinlan. They insisted on going by FKQ.

We had a new business pitch for a text-to-speech client, who thougtfully typed in a message along the lines of, "Welcome to TextSpeak, FKQ."

Which, naturally came out in voice as: "Welcome to TextSpeak, Fuk You."

Talking computers? I thought that was the "Lucky Bamboo" (TM) talking! Geez, I'm starting to think that guy in mall ripped me off now.

I'm so disallusioned now... :(

Hey Mike, at least in baseball stat-padding tends to result in more wins. You can't really be a ball hog in baseball, and positive stats tend are just that for the team. Baseball is simply much more individual than basketball. It's much rarer for a baseball player's in-game decision centered around his own stats to get in the way of his team winning. It happens, true, but "padding" your stats with more RBI, well, I'll take it.

Here's a candidate (after "lay preacher") for most terrifying phrase of the year:

"leadership training"



Hey Dave S.,

Wade Boggs is the perfect counter-example to your argument. Great stats, HOF, ..... but often times, especially towards the end of the season, he would look out for his own stats rather than do what was in the team's best interest - not taking walks because he needed hits for a batting title. I agree with your argument but for some reason Boggs always struck me as a 'ball hog' in a sport where it is very difficult to be a 'ball hog'.

"Found this on the internets today."

That will never get old. Just like how looking at low-res Google Earth images satellite of "the ranch" will never get old.

Please, Lou, stop it already.

Actually, if anyone is interested in a hilarious take on corporate speak...

"The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit: An A to Z Lexicon of Empty, Enraging, and Just Plain Stupid Office Talk"

...this is toilet reading at its finest.

You're totally right on about that, Yazbread...like you say, generally it's true, but there certainly are notable exceptions. Ichiro does the same thing. Soriano did it this year with stealing bases when it wasn't really going to help the team, and could in fact hurt them (e.g. swiping third with 2 outs)...it totally can and does happen...just not nearly as much as in basketball, where teamwork is the exception.

BTW, Buckner, the tix are in the mail as of 11:45. I'm assuming you meant Kingston RI, not MA, right?

Kidding, kidding...

Dave S. - Absolutely, I agree, stats padding can be a great thing for a team. This is just not the year for it, and it should be part of a strategy for building a great team instead of an end in itself (like the Yankees treat it).

The Yankees are the ultimate stats padders, while the Cardinals and Tigers have amassed great do-it-fer-the-team sorts of people who just know how to get the job done. I think the reason the Cards won it all, besides the double vision of Tigers pitchers, was that they were playing for something other than paychecks. Things will stay that way until money enters into the picture.

For that matter, the ultimate player if you luv stats is ARod. I won't go there today except to say, until each club house gets a license to print money and can hand out a limitles supply, that guy is never going to make the people around him want to win. I'm surprised Sheffield and Cabrera haven't shanked him yet.


Gratuitious I know, but has anyone seen Oct Spin mag, and the "Got Milk' ad w/Slappy? The thin, white creamy line across the top lip.....who's DNA might that be???
just sayin'

As an HR Manager, my dept is the clearing house for corporate crap-speak.
High Hover = An overview of a situation (overview being more crap-speak)
Throw the rock further down the road = Improving a successful program.
Getting them in the boat w/us= Building alliances.

I just barfed in my own mouth.......

I just can't cope with talking computers myself. They've creeped me way out since HAL's performance in '2001'.

Mike...I might disagree on definition of the stat-padder a bit. I see a stat-padder as one who tries to accomplish things in the context of purely adding to his stats, team results notwithstanding. Soriano's base stealing this year fits nicely into that category. One might look at Papi's late season fence swing mechanics as also fitting. I see stat padding as a change in approach to the game with one's eye not on winning, but on showing personal greatness. I disagree about the Yankees in general on that. I could see A-Rod that way, but certainly wouldn't see Posada, Jeter, Rivera, Damon, Matsui, Cano...really the vast majority of Yankees, as playing for stats. They're playing to win. I'd say that Papi started stat-padding when he approached Foxx's record and the Sox stopped playing meaningful ball. In basketball, though, guys who hog the ball and take shots for the sake of upping their PPG are a dime a dozen. You have high profile guys like Kobe, Iverson, who are just looking to score all the time and eat up all of their teams shots. That to me is heavy duty stat-padding...guys who aren't playing to win.

hb - can't wait to read your mash up of tonight's Lost episode and the joys of corporate leadership seminars.

I can see all the Others meeting on what to do with the tailies in an early 90's EST-type conference where no one is allowed to use the bathroom until they all go along with Ben's plan. Hey, why not? Nothing else about teh show has made any sense for quite some time now.

Dave S - I guess I have a soft definition of stat padding. I know when someone is doing it and I know when someone is not. It's not something you can measure, but it's something you can recognize.

Papi's offensive tasks are tied to the team strategy. Play 8 listless innings but keep it close, then have Papi beat up on a closer. Not a way to win every game, but it has proven effective in some key games. Papi will lay down a bunt when the shift is on, even when his BA is less than .280. He's clutch, but he loves to see his team succeed.

OTOH, there are some stars who will not lay down a bunt and they think their past performance and salary makes them immune. They need their .280 BA and 80 RBIs so they can command a high market price in free agency or just because they believe the hype around their name. That, and they need to protect precious marketing dollars associated with the brand built around their status in the league. Those are the stat-padders, we all know who they are and which teams accumulate the most of them.

You could say the Yankees have the best offensive and defensive stats in the American League in key situations. I would not take them over any other team in postseason play, however, exactly because getting to the World Series requires more than just knowing how to swing the bat. Other teams who perform less effectively but know how to play together are going to beat them more than 50% of the time, this is the 'hot' philosophy Jeter loves to use as an excuse when his boys get eliminated.

That said, my money was on an A's / Dodgers series this year going into the postseason. It can fall apart just as fast as it comes together. Stats are probably a more enduring characteristic of a team, I just don't like seeing teams where that is all there is.


Anyone remember when Jeter took a 0-2 hack at a 3-0 Craig Hanson fastball low and away (far away. it was Hanson after all) when he was trying to extend his hitting streak this year? That would have seen stat padding... except he grounded out to short.

I'm going to be off the internets today, too, and I'm not sure about Lostaholix this week.

I recorded it last night and then started to watch it delayed, but I confess I fell asleep and missed the last 20 mins or so. That is not reflection on the episode's quality but a result of my being beat from the day's "festivities."

One more day today. Heh.

Sorry hb, but:


Actually thought Lost was outstanding last night. Best episode in two seasons.
Still can't figure out Paolo and Nikki, though. Nice little mind fuck they are working on Jack.


Talking computers?

Red Dwarf Season One - Holly the ship's computer.

Sheer class.

Oops. I meant this clip:

The biggest problem with Lost is that everything in the place conforms to "normalcy", even if it just seems wierd because we haven't heard the whole story yet.

The black cloud/smoke/monster/thing though...just absolute sci-fi. It's either some high-tech security system, sentient being/thing/experiment, or some other nonsense that doesn't fit in reality without crazy hand-waving and suspension of disbelief. It's interacted too much to be "just a hallucination" or anything, so it's not just a mindgame if it's picking people up 10 feet and slamming them dead into trees.

I don't like it. Everything else can be a great game of deception, manipulation, and craziness (I'm even buying the polar bear relocation/modifications for jungle living...and oops, it's gotten loose on the island). Why did they feel the need to put in this tidbit of completely fabrication of reality? It's completely non-sequiter.

My theory on the smoke. It seems only to appear when (in retrospect) a character is hallucinating or in the case of Eko, dying (or maybe already dead). It seemed last night that it was a proxy for evil forces finally taking him (followed up by his refusing to renounce his Chosen Path in life).

On the other hand, maybe I'm full of shit.


Jeter won the Gold Glove at short. Pardon my language, but you gotta be shitting me.

Jeter won the GG? Couldn't be happier if I were twins.

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